Adam Felton, Matts Lindbladh, Johan Elmberg, Annika M. Felton, Erik Andersson,Cagan H. Sekercioglu, Yvonne Collingham & Brian Huntley
Projecting impacts from anthropogenic climatic change on the bird communities of southern Sweden’s spruce monocultures: Will the species-poor get poorer? Ornis Fennica (in press)
The potential impact of climatic change on bird species’ distributions in Europe was recently modeled for several scenarios of projected late 21st century climate. The results indicate mean range shifts of hundreds of kilometres north for many of Europe’s bird species. Here we consider the implications from such distributional shifts for the bird communities of Norway spruce (Picea abies) monocultures in southern Sweden, a forest type likely to remain prevalent despite climate change. Our assessment leads us to three key findings. First, spruce monocultures offered suitable habitat to only two bird species projected to increase their breeding distribution to southern Sweden this century. Second, bird species richness was projected to decline overall, which would accentuate the depauperate nature of these stands. Third, all conifer-associated arboreal granivores, and three of four conifer-associated arboreal insectivores are projected to be lost; reducing both functional richness and redundancy. We discuss the implications for avian biodiversity in what is the most prevalent forest type in southern Sweden and in many regions of Europe.